Wed | Jun 19, 2019

The pains of carpal tunnel syndrome

Published:Monday | May 20, 2019 | 12:13 AM

“The hand is the visible part of the brain,” as philosopher Immanuel Kant expressed. So, you’ll agree that we need to keep them in good shape. However, no matter how careful we are, we often find ourselves with undesired complications. Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is one of them, which is accompanied by excruciating pains.

The affliction is a group of problems denoted by swelling, pain, tingling, and loss of strength in both the wrist and hand.

According to Women’s Health, an online platform that speaks directly to issues that affect females, everyone is at risk of developing the malady. But women are three times more likely than men.

Hormonal changes during pregnancy, menopause, and other illnesses are a few of the triggers that bring on CTS in women. And in some cases, the cause is unknown.

One of the domineering challenges with CTS is that it is prone to affecting your dominant hand, thereby affecting almost everything that you do. This, however, does not mean that it won’t affect both hands, causing even greater costly interruptions. For, instance loss of hours at work.

SYMPTOMS

There’s no second-guessing when it comes to the condition. It comes on gradually with feelings of burning, tingling, and numbness in both the wrist and hand. The thumb, index and middle fingers are usually the first areas that CTS attacks. These indicators may occur more often at night and may be exacerbated if you sleep with your wrist bent, leaving you in more pain and pronounced symptoms.

Experts note that as the condition worsens, the tingling sensation may be felt during the daytime.

Another prominent warning sign is weakness of the hands. And unfortunately, as time passes by this will eventually become more painful. In some cases, people with the condition may find it difficult to grasp objects, especially small items, or even simply make a fist. Often, the fingers may feel swollen but actually aren’t.

HOW IS IT TREATED?

It’s imperative for you to seek medical attention as soon as possible if you believe that you are suffering from CTS. If left untreated, inevitably the condition will lead to permanent damage to the wrist nerve and muscles of the hand and thumb. Loss of feeling and hand strength, too, are other complications that are likely to ensue if CTS is ignored. You may even lose the ability to feel hot and cold by touch.

There are a number of treatment options available for persons who have CTS. Consulting with your doctor is important. This will help you to determine which treatment option is best for you. It could be a wrist splint, medication, physical therapy or surgery. Each is determined by the severity of CTS.

rocheda.bartley@gleanerjm.com